In composite material of the Al-B system spherical inclusions of AlB2 are formed on the surface of the filaments at points where the protective film of Al2O3 on the aluminum foil is destroyed.
Inclusions of AlB2 greatly reduce the strength of the filaments and also weaken the bond with the matrix.
At all diffusion welding temperatures there is a certain period of time (incubation period) in which no AlB2 is formed.
The duration of the incubation period does not depend on the pressure during diffusion welding, while the rate at which AlB2 is formed in the following period depends to a considerable extent on the pressure.
The processes occurring in the incubation period are diffusional in character and evidently associated with destruction and coalescence of the oxide film; the presence of oxygen (pressing in air or use of previously oxidized boron filaments) accelerates the process of coalescence.
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Salibekov, S.E., Sakharov, V.V. & Romanovich, I.V. The early stages of the interaction of boron filaments with aluminum. Met Sci Heat Treat 20, 830–833 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00703782